Hobart Final: (7) Alize Cornet vs Eugenie Bouchard
There is one last match before Monday’s first Grand Slam of the year at the Australian Open, a blockbuster final at the Hobart International where Alize Cornet will come up against Eugenie Bouchard. Both ladies will be desperate to win the title on Saturday to complete a perfect week’s preparation for the Australian Open. Eugenie Bouchard will be aiming for just her second career title and her first on a hard court whilst Alize Cornet will be aiming to capture her fifth career title and her first since Katowice back in early 2014.
After a really disappointing season in 2015, it is great to see Alize Cornet playing good tennis again. Alize made a positive start to the season in Brisbane where she defeated Kristina Mladenovic before succumbing to Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in a close match. Alize has taken advantage of a relatively favourable draw in Hobart, recording victories over Denisa Allertova and Veronica Cepede Royg before receiving a walkover into the semi-final’s courtesy of Mona Barthel withdrawing due to an injury. Alize’s most impressive performance came on Friday where she thumped Johanna Larsson 6-1 6-1 to advance to the final. It was Alize’s most consistent performance of the week, a good sign heading into the final.
Eugenie Bouchard continues to improve and become closer and closer to her 2014 season form. The Canadian is the only player to reach 2 quarter-finals in the first 2 weeks of the season and will be very confident she can claim her second career title on Saturday. The Canadian’s draw has been quite tough this week, defeating several quality opponents on route to the final. Bouchard started the week by recording straight set victories over Mattek-Sands, Van Uytvanck and Camila Giorgi before outlasting Dominika Cibulkova to claim an epic 6-1 4-6 6-4 victory. Bouchard’s semi-final performance was also her best of the week, fighting extremely hard to edge past a determined Cibulkova in a tight decider.
Eugenie Bouchard holds a 2-1 head-to-head record over Alize Cornet. The Canadian has won the two most recent clashes between the pair, including a memorable 7-6 7-5 victory at Wimbledon in 2014 and a 6-3 7-5 victory a couple of weeks later. Both matches were quite close, especially the Wimbledon match and show that there is very little to separate these two.
This promises to be a really tough battle between two fierce competitors, these two are quite evenly matched heading into this match. Bouchard certainly has more firepower but Alize has more variety and greater defensive skills, whilst both can struggle behind their serves. In the difficult Hobart conditions, I’m going to give the slight edge to Cornet. There are more margins to Alize’s game and she is better able to adapt and fight in different circumstances. Alize should also be much fresher heading into this clash having played one less match. I think this should be a really entertaining and close match.